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Games Inbox: Xbox Series X more powerful than PS5, Call Of Duty: Cold War reveal, and NGPX hype

Xbox Series X – can it beat Sony on power? (pic: Microsoft)

The Thursday Inbox thinks CD Projekt definitely deserve their success, as another reader is surprised at no Forza Motorsport 8.

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Power struggle I feel a lot of people didn’t really understand the Unreal Engine 5 demo, thinking that it was a real game or that it was only coming to PlayStation 5 , or that it somehow proved Sony’s console was more powerful. All of which was 100% intended by Sony of course, and you can’t blame them for that. As someone else said, they’re just better at marketing than Microsoft are and so obviously they’re going to use that.

Microsoft’s speciality though, no matter how softly spoken and charming Mark Cerny is, is hardware and I find it impossible to believe that the Xbox Series X won’t end up being the most powerful console next gen. Phil Spencer has already hinted about it and after the Xbox One X selling itself as that there’s no way they’re bad enough at marketing to give up that accolade to Sony.

The question is will it be enough? Do people care enough about raw power to go for the Xbox Series X over the PlayStation 5, even when it doesn’t have any true exclusives? I guess we’ll see but I’m fascinating to see how they’re going to illustrate its power. Will they preview future exclusives? Show the difference in upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series X using backwards compatibility? Will Halo Infinite be doing something high-tech that the PlayStation 5 can’t do?

Sony has had the best of it so far in terms of the next gen hype but I wouldn’t count Microsoft out yet, especially if they do have the most powerful hardware. Keegan

Interactive reveal Looks like it’s pretty certain that Call Of Duty is going to be announce through the next season of Warzone, which I think is pretty neat. I remember when Call Of Duty reveals used to be a big event but the last couple of ones were super forgettable so this sounds more interesting and… interactive.

Not too excited by the Cold War setting though. I know Blacks Ops is a big franchise that they have to keep going, and apparently nobody wants a return to sci-fi, but I’d rather see something original. Maybe something a bit more serious? Now that they don’t do single-player Rainbow Six anymore (except, ironically, a sci-fi version) something more tactical like the early games would be interesting to me.

Modern Warfare had some amazing graphics and attempts at seriousness but most of it was still very silly Michael Bay style action. I guess all anyone really cares about is the multiplayer though and they’re clearly on top of that one. I look forward to the reveal, although only by watching other people find all the clues. It’s too much like hard work doing it yourself! Zoltan

The horse’s mouth That NGPX livestream sounds like it could be the best thing to come out of E3 being cancelled. I can’t remember any of those companies ever getting to take to the stage during a normal E3, except maybe Sega and Atlus with Persona a couple of times. I hope they do something similar for the Tokyo Game Show as that never seem to get any hype any more, but Japan’s games industry is in a much better position nowadays than it was 10 years or so ago.

I don’t know what they’d announce but one of the problems with selling Japanese games is that they don’t do previews – I don’t know if that’s an expense thing or what – and so you often only hear about them just as they come out, with no build up.

More livestreams like this would be a way to solve the problem. Although I’m almost a bit nervous that it’s the America divisions of most of the companies doing the talking. I know there’s a language problem but I’d rather hear it from the horse’s mouth. Canrice

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Neo Tokyo Crazy to think how big CD Projekt has got in such a short amount of time, and all thoroughly deserved! I’ve seen people say before that they’re one of the few companies they trust and whose game’s they would be interested in no matter what and I would certainly agree with that. Their policy on microtransactions and DLC is top notch and made me like them even more.

And now they’re the biggest company of any kind in Poland?! I remember GC interviewing the Polish developer in charge of Square Enix’s new game and they were talking about how the country had lots of studios and was a big hot bed for development. Could they be the new Japan? At least as far as the most important country in Europe goes?

Ubisoft might be French but I’ve never really thought of them as a French company as almost everything they put out is very American, I guess purposefully so. The Witcher is obviously European, because the source material is as well, but I’ll be interested to see the influence in Cyberpunk 2077 as that is set in America. Naturally, I’ll be buying that barring anything but apocalyptic reviews. Rostrum

Real character I’d agree with Syber about The Witcher 3 being the best ever role-playing game. I loved The Witcher 3 and its excellent DLC. It starts a bit slowly – I wasn’t initially a fan, and it has a strange difficulty spike near the beginning, but once things start opening up it’s excellent.

Admittedly, the combat isn’t great but its adequate, and at least rewards some preparation, timing, and positional play. But where the game stands out is the volume and quality of its quests, dialogue, and characters. I find it hard to remember even one character from most other role-players, but the memorable encounters in The Witcher 3 are too many to count.

I know there are some that don’t like that you are lumbered playing Geralt, but being able to make meaningful decisions with a character is seemingly more important to me than being able to customise the look of your character. Obviously, in a perfect world I’d like to have both but I wonder if the fact that the main character is such a known quantity helps the interaction with the world and results in better dialogue and characters? I guess we’ll find out with Cyberpunk 2077. Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)

No early warning I was wondering if you think you’ll have a review for the XCOM 2 Collection on Switch next week, in time for its release on the 29th.

Given how little has been made of this, as well as the Bioshock and Borderlands Collections, and how they’re really just ports with DLC included, I’m not sure if there are any embargoes to worry about but then I don’t imagine they’ll make press copies available particularly early.

The obvious concern is Take-Two are treating these releases as relatively disposable and low profile, given they’re three substantial collections that are coming out on the same day, and also the same date as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, one of Nintendo’s only (semi-)notable releases of the year so far. Which doesn’t necessarily bode well for their quality and, after playing the PlayStation 4 version of XCOM 2 at launch a Switch port that has sensible loading times, runs smoothly, and doesn’t crash every second turn would be verging on the miraculous.

Still, a reliable version of XCOM 2 that’s completely portable and runs as well as other third party ports like Divinity: Original Sin 2 and The Witcher 3 would be a big thing for me so I’m pretty keen to hear your thoughts. Panda

GC: Unfortunately, it’s looking like none of those games will be sent out for review until the day of release.

Semi-mysterious A free mystery game is available on Epic Games Store today from 4pm, for the next week. After last week’s game I can’t think it will be Red Dead Redemption 2! Andrew J. PS: Chex Quest HD is currently free on Steam if nobody else has mentioned it in the Inbox. I am posting about a lot of free games in the Underbox because the free games get announced a lot and with GameCentral only printing letters once a day I might miss the Inbox and at weekend’s I post on the Hot Topic comments about any free games too, as some games are not free by the time Monday comes around.

GC: Based on the rumours last week it’s probably Civilization 6.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Impulse purchase Until I saw that story about inXile using Unreal Engine 5 I’d forgotten Microsoft had even bought them. What a weird choice. I mean, I guess they were cheap, but what did they see in an indie developer nobody has heard of, who make old-fashioned role-players based on franchises nobody can remember (and I say this as someone that actually does remember The Bard’s Tale, although I’ve never heard of Wasteland before).

Especially when they’ve already got Obsidian, who are basically the same thing but better, I can’t help but think they really should’ve gone out and bought a Japanese or European developer instead. Compulsion Games, who made We Happy Few, are an even weirder choice. They better have something really amazing behind the scenes to make that seem sensible.

I don’t want to turn this into another dog pile on Microsoft but they do make it so hard to stay optimistic. Everyone assumed that they were so quiet this gen because they called it a right off early on and started working immediately on the next gen, but we’re still not seeing any evidence of that.

I didn’t realise they’d already said Halo Infinite is going to be the only exclusive at launch. I just don’t understand that. Surely Forza Motorsport at least makes sense? There hasn’t been a Forza Motorsport, as opposed to Horizon, for three years now. Was that really not enough time to make another one? It always has been in the past. Hulkster

Inbox also-rans RE: Spooky Dreamer. Most or all of those games were on Game Pass when I obtained them and I didn’t know that about Old Man’s Journey, which I really enjoyed and luckily my bank account’s still intact! Also, forgot to mention Yoku’s Island Express, which is utterly charming and something I got on both the Xbox and the Switch… it’s that good. big boy bent

I love how unembarrassed Henry Cavill is about being such a hardcore nerd. I already liked him in Impossible: Mission and The Witcher and now have even more respect for the man. Impactor

This week’s Hot Topic The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Comp, who asks what highly anticipated game has come closest to meeting or exceeding your expectations?

Hype can get out of control sometimes but what game turned out to be as good, or better, than you were expecting? How often does it happen that games live up to your expectations and how upset do you get when they don’t?

If the game was better than you expected how did it manage that? Did you purposefully avoid too much information about it or had you got the wrong idea from the marketing and reviews? Or were some of the details purposefully kept secret?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter .

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